Former Secretary of State Trey Grayson agrees with predictions that upcoming 2018 budget session could be "brutal"

12/01/2017 10:34 AM

FLORENCE – While the question remains when or if Gov. Matt Bevin will call a special session to address pension reform, former Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson believes that something still can get done by the end of the year.

Grayson says indications are that work is going on among legislative leaders to come up with a revision of the original proposal that will get the majority of House members on board with the plan which would open the door to a special session to be called.

“My understanding is that earlier this week on Tuesday, there was a new bill that was presented to members of the Republican caucus for them to kick around a little bit,” Grayson said. “I could still see the governor calling a special session maybe the week before Christmas. That’s probably still a possibility if there’s enough traction for this bill.”

Many legislators have predicted that upcoming budget session will be “brutal” and might be the most challenging in recent memory.

Some House Republicans are continuing to deal with sexual harassment allegations and an ongoing investigation is being conducted to look into the matter.

While Grayson says that could be a distraction in coming up with a consensus for the pension plan, he believes that something can still get done.

“It’s not helpful but we’ve been talking about pension reform for a while, and very intensely over the last couple of months, so they can still come to an agreement and get a session and get it done,” Grayson said. “I certainly don’t think if there’s a bill that can get a consensus among the majority of the members, you can do this even with what’s going on.”

Many legislators predict that the upcoming 2018 budget session will be “brutal”, considering the increased pension contributions and the affects that will have on the overall budget.

While Grayson said that is a word which has been used from time to time prior to a budget year, this year’s prediction could be on the mark.

“Now that the legislature made the decision we’re going to address putting the amount of money we owe into the pension, and so we’ve had balance budgets over the years, but they really haven’t been balanced because you’ve been ignoring this pension obligation, so there’s no money,” Grayson said.

Another area of anticipation is the 2018 mid-term election.

Democrats say the year will be a tie of reckoning for the GOP, but Grayson, a Republican, says that there’s evidence which says that the GOP will continue to make gains in the state despite the recent sexual harassment allegations.

“The voter registration numbers continue to really move in favor of Republicans,” Grayson said. “Most months, The Democrats have a negative net number which means you have a lot of party switchers. Even while President Trump’s popularity nationally is not that great, it’s still pretty good in Kentucky, and you still see people continuing to flock to the Republican Party with their registration numbers.”

One race which figures to get a lot of attention is the 6th Congressional District race where Democrats, State Sen. Reggie Thomas, D-Lexington, and retired combat aviator Amy McGrath, and Geoff Young have already announced their intention to run, while a fourth potential candidate, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray is believed to be seriously considering a run.

Grayson believes that if Gray enters the race, he would be the front runner for the Democratic nomination.

“Jim Gray won successfully twice city wide and the congressional district is about twice as big as the mayor’s race, but obviously, people in Jessamine County know who the mayor of Lexington is and most people think he’s done a pretty good job as mayor,” Grayson said.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at



  • Ricky Lee Williams Jr. wrote on December 02, 2017 02:30 PM :

    I am a big fan of Trey Grayson. I have voted for him every time he was on the ballot on my ballot. With that said , Trey and all Lobbyist need to be made to disclose any and all bills he is lobbying for in Frankfort , when he comes on Media outlets across the state to talk politics. Trey is one of the best when talking policy and knows this game better than anyone. He has been a huge asset for KY and Pure Politics, talking on races and effects most don’t have the range to articulate , to where we can comprehend. I think him for that. But the law firm of Frost Brown Todd is one of the biggest and most powerful groups in our area. They cover more ground than just KY. And not just politically. Frost Brown Todd is a full service law agency.

    Today more and more of our legislation is being passed with little to no public transparency, debate. The lobbyist are not only writing the laws on the books for our elected leaders , but they also are writing the talking points our elected officials use when selling their bill of goods to the folks for support. Something has went badly wrong with how our country governs today. This here making full disclosure , when speaking on state media , is just one of many steps that is needed in heading in the right direction , with how lobbyist stay hidden, but in noway , the end of what needs to be addressed, in the seemingly ever changing sell out of government to those with deep pockets. A Democracy can’t survive by only a few running it all , and the rest left behind , being ran into the grounds of poverty, with little to no recourse of action… RL

  • Raymond Hurst wrote on December 03, 2017 10:09 PM :

    The Conservative Governor from New Hampshire may call a special session just a month before the regular session is to begin; at a cost of AT LEAST $60,000 a day. Being a Democrat; I did not understand Fiscal Conservatism til now. Why tackle a subject in a regularly scheduled, 60 day session, when you can do it in an extra session where you can pay your friends a few thousand dollars extra. It is Christmas, the season for giving. Maybe Conservatism IS better than Liberalism; at least it pays better.

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